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Death Receptor-Mediated Apoptosis and Therapy Strategies in Ovarian Cancer

19 Years
Open (Enrolling)
Ovarian Cancer

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Trial Information

Death Receptor-Mediated Apoptosis and Therapy Strategies in Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer remains highly lethal, with an estimated 25,580 new cases and 16,090 death
per year in the US. The most common ovarian cancers arise from the surface epithelium of
the ovary. Approximately 75% of patients with advanced-stage cancer are surgically
incurable. While chemotherapy is a critical component of treatment, the pre-existing and
induced chemoresistance of ovarian cancer cells is a major obstacle in treatment of patients
with advanced disease. Novel strategies to enhance the established therapeutic Defective
apoptosis has been proposed as one of the major mechanisms that lead to malignant
transformation and resistance to therapeutics. Defective apoptosis may result from
increased growth stimulation (oncogenes), decreased growth inhibition (tumor suppressor
genes) or imbalanced apoptosis regulation. Alterations of the Bcl-2 family proteins have
been reported to be associated with chemotherapy resistance in ovarian cancer cells.(1)
Increased anti-apoptosis protein, Bcl-XL, may play a role in preventing apoptosis of ovarian
cancer cells in response to chemotherapy. Conversely, high levels of pro-apoptosis protein,
Bax, are associated with a favorable response to therapy. The role of these and other
apoptotic regulatory proteins in sensitivity/resistance mechanisms to chemotherapy in
patient's ovarian cancer cells are just beginning to be elucidated.

Precision cut tumor slices will be prepared from fresh primary ovarian tumor specimens using
the Krumdieck tissue slicer, followed by ex vivo TRA-8 cytotoxicity assays on the tumor
slices. Tumor-derived tissue slices may be used immediately in short term assays with no
need to isolate or expand tumor cells, thus avoiding potential problems in maintaining cell
viability or selecting variant cells during tumor dispersion or longer periods of in vitro
cell culture. Demonstration of TRA-8-induced apoptosis using primary ovarian tumors in ex
vivo tumor slice cytotoxicity assays can strengthen the rationale for this therapy in this
tumor type and may be used to select patients who would most likely benefit from TRA-8
therapy. The sensitivity of ovarian patient tumors to TRA-8, paclitaxel, and carboplatin
will be evaluated in tumor slice cytotoxicity assays as single agents and in combination.
Slices from different treatment conditions will be paraffin-embedded or frozen for
immunohistochemical evaluation.

Inclusion Criteria:

- Patients must have suspected ovarian cancer and must be a candidate for surgery.

- Patients must have provided a signed consent form.

- Patients must have extra tumor at the time of surgery that is appropriate for tumor

- Patients must be at least 19 years of age.

- Patients must have histologically confirmed epithelial carcinoma of the ovary or of
extra-ovarian origin, any histologic subtype or stage.

Exclusion Criteria:

- Patients who have received any prior therapy for ovarian cancer.

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Observational Model: Cohort, Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional

Outcome Measure:

Presence of TRA-8 apoptosis

Outcome Description:

Apoptosis properties of TRA-8 will be analyzed in tissue collected from surgery using tissue slice technology.

Outcome Time Frame:

At the time of surgery

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Tong Zhou, M.D.

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

University of Alabama at Birmingham


United States: Institutional Review Board

Study ID:




Start Date:

August 2008

Completion Date:

February 2014

Related Keywords:

  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • TRA-8
  • Monoclonal Antibody
  • Tissue Slice Technology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms



University of Alabama Birmingham, Alabama